Had better + verb … : semi-modal verb, to give advices

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Had better + verb … : semi-modal verb to give advices
We explain what somebody should do, we give advices.

« Had better »: semi-modal verb construction, + infinitive without to.
We use « had better »
to give an advice to somebody,
to explain what the person should do.
You had better tell her the truth.

Had better => ‘d better: after I, You, He, She, We, You, They.
I’d better get back home.
You’d better go now.

Had better NOT is the negative form. better comes before not.
You had better not go now. (You’d better…)
You had better not eat so much. (You’d better…)
You’d better not tell her the truth.

He’d better not come tonight.
You’d better not miss the start of the Super Bowl.
-> Notice that we don’t say « hadn’t better » !!
-> Had better NOT = idea that we insist with the NOT !

What had I better put on for the party?

Hadn’t you better hurry if you want to catch the eight o’clock train? (2)
The negative form ‘hadn’t better’ is used mainly in questions: Hadn’t we better try again later?
In informal speech, « had » is sometimes dropped!

You better go now.
I better try again later.

« had better »: past form of « to have » better,
but it works if you give advices about a present or futur situation.
We’d better meet early.

« had better » = NEVER « has or have » !! Only « had better » !!

« HAD BETTER » vs « SHOULD » ?
Had better: ONLY about specific situations:
=> You had better tell her the truth.

=> We had better get back home.

Should: about general situations (… and specific too)
=> general situations: we must use « should » in this case.
=> You should wash your hands before you eat.

=> You should listen to the teacher.
=> specific situation with should: we can use « should » too in this case.
=> You should tell her the truth.

=> We should get back home.

« had better »: why do we use « had better » ?
« Had better » expresses advice to do something, and means « would find it wiser or more suitable ».

If I don’t, there’ll be a problem, or a danger. Something bad will happen to you.
You had better go now (=it would be good, wise or suitable for you to go now)
Synonyms: ought to do something / should do something.

I had better go now or I’ll be late and miss my plane. (I’d better…)
You had better take your umbrella. It may rain. (You’d better…)
We had better take our coats because it’s cold. (We’d better…)
You had better stop and have a rest if you feel tired. (You’d better…)
You had better do what I say (or else, you will have problems. Listen to me!)

You had better get back to home (or else, your wife will be furious with you).
You had better go to the train station now. (or else, you’ll miss your train).
You had better go to the train station now. (or else, you’ll miss your train).

We had better meet early
. (if not, we’ll miss the start of the movie).

We should meet early. (we won’t miss the beginning of the movie, we have time).

=> When we use « should », there is not necessary a bad issue.